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Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 14:57 UK

Bellis pulls up short in Beijing
Jonny Bellis and Ben Swift in Beijing (

Manx cyclist Jonny Bellis enjoyed his Olympic debut despite being forced to retire in testing conditions.

The 19-year-old quit halfway through Saturday's men's road race, on a track described by commentators as the toughest Olympic course they have seen.

Only half the field finished the 155-mile event in Beijing.

"We expected a tough day," said Bellis. "On top of the heat and humidity the course was very difficult. But it was the same for everybody."

The 19-year-old, the youngest rider in the race, marked an early break which included Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre before retiring after 3 hrs and 44 minutes of gruelling riding.

The race was won by the Spaniard Samuel Sanchez, silver went to Italy's Davide Rebellin, bronze to Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara.

"It was quite an induction into this level of competition," added Bellis. "And I now know how far I will have to go to win in 2012."

see also
Bellis 'will learn from Beijing'
24 Jul 08 |  Cycling

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